Charge d’Affaires of the Japan Embassy Hiroshi Watanabe and Utrok Mayor John Kaiko signed a grant contract earlier this month for construction of a fish base at Utrok Atoll. The grant is for $83,411 through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The signing ceremony was witnessed by Minister of Culture and Internal Affairs Amenta Matthew, who represents Utrok in Nitijela, Secretary of Culture and Internal Affairs Wallace Peter, Chief of Local Government Division of Culture and Internal Affairs Yoland Jurelang, Deputy Director of Marshall Islands Marine Resources Agency Florence Edwards, Utrok Accountant KC deBrum and representatives from the Environmental Protection Authority, as well as staff of the Embassy of Japan.
Through GGP, Utrok Atoll Local Government will be able to construct a fish base equipped with three freezers and one ice machine. A solar system will be installed on the fish base funded by other donors. Once built, MIMRA will start trips to Utrik to collect fish.
The government of Japan launched the Grassroots Grant Program in 1996 in the RMI, for the purpose of responding to development needs related to schools, hospitals as well as local governments and NGOs. As of August 2018, the Embassy has approved 143 GGP grants in the RMI. This project marked the second GGP for Utrok.
Read more about this in the August 31, 2018 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.